Hearst Castle via Amtrak from Martinez?

Jun 24th, 2007, 10:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 324
Hearst Castle via Amtrak from Martinez?

I thought it might be fun to see Hearst's Castle, and also, since I've never taken Amtrak, to try to get there by train. I live in Sonoma County. When I've researched various web sites, I haven't been able to see if this is feasible or not, in terms of time and money. Has anyone out there made this trip (if such a trip is possible)?
likeswords is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,398
The closest you'll get to Hearst Castle via Amtrak is either Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo--and it will probably be either a bus, or the train will go east from Martinez to Hanford, then it will be bus to PR and SLO. Don't know how you'd get to Hearst Castle from there.
TrvlMaven is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 264
Amtrak to San Luis Obispo and rent a car. You want to take the Coast Starlight (trains 11 & 14) and not go down the San Joaquin Valley route. The southbound Caost Starlight gets in to Martinez in the morning and gets to SLO about 3:00 in the afternoon. Northbound, the Coast Starlight leaves SLO around 2:30 in the afternoon and gets back to Martinez around 11:00pm.
You will probably want to stay in SLO. Try the Madonna Inn for a hoot and a half. There is a lot to see and do in the Morro valley. San Luis is a vacation spot in itself and Hearst Castle (Cambria Pines) is an easy day trip. The train down the valley is a nice trip (it will be late because the tracks are owned and operated by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and they treat Amtrak like a poor relation.) If you're late into SLO just remember that you can get off when the train gets there and, since you're taking the time to experience the train trip as part of your vacation, relax and enjoy it.
Nevisian is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I don't know why there isn't any transportation to the Hearst Castle from SLO. This question comes up all the time.

Maybe I'll suggest it as a business opportunity to my son.

You'll have to rent a car once you get here to get over to San Simeon.

The train is ALWAYS late. We hear it as it blasts its horn as it goes through our town. Just make sure you don't have any deadlines, relax, and enjoy it, and it will be fine.
mowmow is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,226
I did this exact trip with grand-dau.2-3 years ago.
Yes, train was late but not bad--2 hrs.
We stayed in motel in SLO , rented a car the next day, did 2 tours @ Castle.Morro Bay is only 11 miles from SLO ( pass by it on way to Castle) has a small waterfront and good restaurants..My favorite in Morro Bay is Dorans.
If you could manage to be in SLO on a Thursday evening, you could enjoy one of the best California Farmer's Markets. Really much more than the routine FMs.( streets blocked off to traffic in downtown area). Restaurants have food booths in the streets , crafts, often entertainment -- local music,groups, puppet shows, fruit and vege stands --The best vege stand is freah picked corn from CalPoly (local University) and they have a "cable car type" street car that makes a BIG circle and passes by many motels
As you might have quessed this area is one of my favorite places in California.
Give it a try..
traveler24 is offline  

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